Common name/s ?

Penstemon 'Lilac And Burgundy' and beard tongue 'Lilac And Burgundy'.

Skill rating



North America.

Type of plant ?

Semi-evergreen, herbaceous perennial.

Hardiness zone ?

RHS zone


EGF zone


USDA zone


Eventual size

To 80cm height and 50cm spread.

Growth rate ?

Moderate, will reach full size in 2 to 5 years.

Shape it grows into

Forms clumps of upright, leafy flowering stems.

Season/s of interest

Flowers in summer.

Where to grow it

Happy in full sun or part shade.
Prefers well drained soil.

Happy in any soil pH and any type except clay. It will tolerate exposed sites but will need to be supported. Any aspect, except north-facing, will be fine.

Penstemon 'Lilac And Burgundy'


Produces tall stems adorned with long, almost triangular, green leaves. In summer these bear a flourish of lilac, bell shaped flowers which have deep burgundy throats.

What to use it for

Perfect for cottage style beds and borders.

How to look after it

Will need support in exposed areas to prevent the long stems from bending.

How to prune it

Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering. Cut back to ground level in early spring.

How to propagate it

Semi-ripe stem tip cuttings can be taken in late summer or early autumn. Alternatively seeds can be collected in late summer/autumn and sown in early spring at 15°C, although seeds from cultivars such as ‘Lilac and Burgundy’ may not come true from seed. Penstemons can be hybridised quite easily.

Common problems

May be susceptible to attacks by slugs, snails, two-spotted spider mites and chrysanthemum eelworms (also known as leaf and bud eelworms). Not usually affected by diseases.

Other useful information

The genus name Penstemon, sometimes also spelt as Pentstemon, is thought to refer to ‘five stamens’.